By Jordain Carney - 01/12/16 03:41 PM EST
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellTrump hires Rand Paul's former digital director: report Overnight Finance: Trump threatens NAFTA withdrawal | Senate poised for crucial Puerto Rico vote | Ryan calls for UK trade deal | Senate Dems block Zika funding deal Overnight Healthcare: Blame game over Zika funding MORE (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that the upper chamber will soon take up sanctions legislation against North Korea after the country claimed it detonated a hydrogen bomb.
"Sen. [Cory] Gardner has been working on a North Korea sanctions bill. We anticipate it will come out of the Foreign Relations Committee very soon, and I intend to schedule floor time on it shortly," he told reporters.
McConnell made the comments ahead of an expected House vote this week to approve legislation from House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.). That proposal would block North Korea’s access to hard currency and target its assets for nuclear development.
The reported tests from North Korea have sparked bipartisan concern from lawmakers, though the administration has disputed the isolated country's claims. The successful detonation of a hydrogen bomb by North Korea would both violate a United Nations Security Council resolution and mark an increase in the country's nuclear capabilities.
The top members of the Foreign Relations Committee also suggested after a classified briefing with administration officials on Monday evening that they would expect the Senate to take action on sanctions legislation.
Corker said that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have introduced legislation and "so we're going to go through it methodically."
The Tennessee Republican, however, suggested what specific sanctions to enact weren't a focus of the Monday briefing.
Sen. Ben CardinBen CardinMcConnell tees up House Puerto Rico bill GOP senators: Brexit vote a wake-up call Dems take over floor to protest Senate inaction on gun control MORE (D-Md.) said, separately, that he and Corker have already started having conversations to make sure the committee has a sanctions bill.
In addition to Gardner's legislation, Sen. Bob MenendezRobert MenendezOvernight Finance: Trump threatens NAFTA withdrawal | Senate poised for crucial Puerto Rico vote | Ryan calls for UK trade deal | Senate Dems block Zika funding deal Menendez rails against Puerto Rico bill for 4 hours on floor Overnight Cybersecurity: Senate narrowly rejects expanding FBI surveillance powers MORE (D-N.J.), who is a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, and Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamDefense contingency misuse threatens national security Gun-control supporters plan next steps versus NRA Bipartisan gun measure survives test vote MORE (R-S.C.) have introduced a proposal to crack down on North Korea.
The Graham-Menendez bill would expand the administration's ability to sanction property or seize the financial assets of individuals or organizations that aid the North Korean government.
Menendez said that he is talking with Gardner to see if they can work out their differences and "bring it to the chairman in a bipartisan effort."